PLACE VENDOME – Streets Of Fire

PLACE VENDOME - Streets Of Fire
  • 9.5/10
    PLACE VENDOME - Streets Of Fire - 9.5/10


Frontiers Records
Release date: February 20, 2009

User Review
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To many old Metalheads all over the world , Michael Kiske was a starlet vocalist since his days in his school group , Ill Prophecy and afterwards as the young vocalist of the early Helloween, whom he recorded four albums with, which two of them , Keeper Of The Seven Keys 1+2 will be forever classics in Metal. These two albums placed Kiske in the same line as two other Metal Gods, Dickinson and Halford.

In his later years in Helloween, for the first time , you notice Kiske’s blinks towards Melodic Hard Rock or even AOR material with titles like “Number One” and “Windmill” between 1991-1993. When Kiske left Helloween he vowed not to make anymore Heavy Metal songs, denounced the themes of Metal and put himself under a strange self-exile. During this period, which began in 1994, after his leaving of Helloween, he released five solo albums of AOR. But he also joined several Metal projects like the successful Metal operas of Avantasia and Aina, performed a song with Gamma Ray in 1996, and formed the Hard Rock Supared, that turned out to be a short lived project with only one album. Then, years later, he came along with his new and current project, Place Vendome, a title that was inspired by the Parisian square, who fired up Kiske’s reputation and broke his self-exile.

The project started in 2004 by the influence of Frontiers Records’s CEO, Serafino Perugino, who found Kiske to be one of the greatest voices of Rock and the fact that Melodic Rock is Frontiers’ specialty. Place Vendome is a Melodic Hard Rock / AOR collaboration of Kiske, the members of the Hard Rock / Heavy Metal act Pink Cream 69 and Vanden Plas’ keyboard man , Gunther Werno. Together, the guys released their first self-titled masterpiece Place Vendome, which was released in 2005. Through 2008 the band worked to record its new album, Streets Of Fire. In addition , like the early album, more songwriters contributed to its completion like Torsti Spoof of Leverage , Ronny Milianowicz of Saint Deamon and Robert Sall from Work Of Art. The result is a true masterpiece and a classic to be remembered.

The music of the album is just magical and shows an accurate connection between riffs and rhythms to the lyrics; it’s flowing right by you with absolute finesse and a quality of the Gods. The touch from the members of Pink Cream and Werno surely holds the spirit of harmony and endless melody. For most of the album the tempo rides between middle to slow with very basic drumming; however this type of drumming suits the genre like a glove. The guitars are magnificent, so many sparks of everlasting melodies and heart breaking solos full of emotion that will keep you hanging to this one. In some parts the guitars give the feeling of late Dokken, without the Lynchy punch. The keyboards are also exceptional. Its usage is quite strong all throughout the songs and they work with fine harmony with the guitars. Also you will notice a solo in the song “Valerie” which is pretty nice. Werno has weight in this release and creates the wonderful aura of AOR and neo-classical supreme.

The vocals are the same story, so emotional that you will shed tears here and there. It’s like Kiske has never grown up from his early days. Surely he is not wildly singing like in his years in Helloween but the velvet voice of youth never dies. Kiske continues his great ability of being an amazingly clean and melodic vocalist and that is the reason why he is one of the best out there. Metalheads who denounced him should be ashamed of themselves and hear this one out in order to return to their senses that this guy is a true artist.

If you are excited by this release, you can also tune to the video of one of the most amazing songs in this release, “My Guardian Angel” and see Kiske again after his return from the cold.

Almost all of Streets Of Fire is a classical madness. Each song is a worthy listen more than once and it’s positive that many of you will fall in love again with the voice of Rock. Easy favorites are “Streets Of Fire” – brilliant music, “My Guardian Angel” – a forever classic, “Completely Breathless”, “A Scene In Reply” – a common theme but when it’s in the hands of Place Vendome is better than ever, “Dancer” – Kiske is just killing in this one, “I’d Die For You” , the so emotional ballad.

Place Vendome is more than a project; it’s a band which everything it touches is magic. Kiske and the other respected members are a gift for Hard Rock and even the Metal world because what they are making is on the border between them.

Perhaps many of you can identify with the belief that Kiske, even if he moved away from Metal in general , is still one of the voices of Metal and Keeper Of The Seven Keys 1+2 , Pink Bubbles Go Ape and Chameleon will stay forever as major parts of his greatest achievements. All Metalheads who resent him should put an end to this childish bickering and face the facts. Long live the voice of Metal and Hard Rock, forever young!


  • Lior Stein

    Lior was a reviewer, DJ and host for our Thrash Metal segment called Terror Zone, based out of Haifa, Israel. He attributes his love of Metal to his father, who got him into bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Boston, and Queen. When he was in junior high he got his first Iron Maiden CD, The Number Of The Beast. That's how he started his own collection of albums. Also, he's the guitarist, vocalist and founder of the Thrash Metal band Switchblade. Most of his musical influences come from Metal Church, Vicious Rumors, Overkill, and Annihilator.

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